The Indian version of Uber ‘Ola’ have teamed up with Apple Music so that you can soundtrack your journeys with a personal mix of your favourite tracks.
Ola is the largest ride-hailing company in India and announced on tuesday that they are partnering with Apple for an in-car music streaming experience. The service will be built into their Ola Play platform which lets customers control music, watch videos, read ebooks, and adjust the car temperature from a tablet within the car – yeah, eat your heart out Uber.
Ola’s chief executive Bhavish Agarwal said in a news conference: “Cars were initially built for the driver. But with ride-sharing, the control needs to be there for the passenger, and Ola Play works along that.” With Ola holding 75% of the ride-sharing market in India it provides a giant opportunity for Apple to spread their reach across the second most populous country in the world. Ola believe that this partnership will “completely transform” the ride experience.
Grayson Brulte, president of technology consulting firm Brulte and Co. said: “Apple invested $1 billion in Didi (Chinese ride-hailing giant and Ola partner), so it has access to all their data. Now Apple will have access to Ola’s Apple Music data. So you start to put the pieces together. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple try to gather all the data in the food chain.”
Whilst Apple have reportedly been working on creating autonomous driving systems, with integrations into a vast majority of modern cars and ride-hailing services like Uber and now Ola, they may instead shift their focus towards taking over in-car interfaces rather than any of the cars themselves. Apple aren’t an auto manufacturer but they’ve made a giant name for themselves with operating systems, maybe dominating in-car OS’s will be their next conquest – or at least providing the soundtrack to your ride.